IT’S been a hectic week at the Cock stud Amberley Park.
Malcolm and Carol have been wading through 53 years of farm ‘stuff’ and years of documents ahead of the clearing sale this weekend.
The Cocks sold their Hallston farm before auction, to beef producers from Yarram.
The new owners will continue as stud farmers, but focus on Angus.
Amberley Park, in all its incarnations, has been a Galloway stud.
“Amberley Park has been breeding Galloways for 53 years,” Mal said.
“It was the first Galloway stud in Victoria.”
This Amberley Park in Hallston is the third version.
“The first Amberley Park was in the Yarra Plenty, just nine miles from the GPO,” Mal said.
“It’s now part of the Yarra River green belt.
“Mach II was at Buchan, Mach III here in Hallston.
“It’s the end of an era for the property side of it, but the stud will go on.
“None of our daughters wanted to take it on and so I went on the family Facebook page asked if there was anybody in the family that wanted to take on the mantle of Amberley Park.
“My grand-niece Hannah Cock said she would.
“She’s taking on the matrons of the herd, and will continue the stud up in Wagga.”
The rest of the herd has been sold all around Australia.
Mal said the dispersal of the herd has been made easier knowing that the good breeding stock will continue to be used, with breeding females and bulls sold to studs and farmers in Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.
“There is a certain attachment to your animals,” Mal said.
“I’ve known them for generations and have all of their records.
“The decision [to disperse the entire herd] is possible without too much heartache as I will be consulting with the people who bought the cattle.
“I’ll also still be on-farm, working with cattle, and in some cases, our Galloways.”
Mal and Carol are retiring from the farming life, to relocate to the Yarra Valley – back where it all began, to concentrate on a farm consultancy business.
For Mal, it’s been a passion he has followed all through his time in agriculture.
“My first 20 years as a farmer, and I think a lot of farmers are like this too, was head down bum up, just trying to survive, keep the overdraft down, working day in, day out.
“It was an 80 year-old farmer who really got me going – he said to me one day ‘Gee I wish I had used my head more than my hands’.
“It wasn’t until I put my bum on a seat and started looking at the future that I could see what I wanted to do and how to get there.
“Carol and I developed a whole of life plan, and I do that now when I’m consulting with clients – they don’t like do it, but it gets you out of the day to day, and gets those ideas and plans out of heads and on to paper.
“My plan’s is still on my study door.
“We are where we are now because of that plan.
“It allowed us to grab hold of opportunities that came along, like courses, buying land down this way before we moved, when we could, in line with our plan.
“We’re at the end of that plan now – we’ll have to do a new one for the next 20 years.”
So while it’s hectic and exciting times at Hallston before the clearing sale, the best is yet to come for the Cocks, and Mach IV of Amberley Park stud.
Stud farmers achieve their goals